The Ten Best Humorous Fiction Books

So you read a funny book and it felt good. Maybe even the kind of good your mother and childhood religious figures warned you against. 

And now you want more.

Next thing you know, you’re googling, “books like Good Omens,” or “top funny books,” at work one Tuesday afternoon rather than compulsively scrolling your Twitter feed as per usual.

Humorous non-fiction, like comedian memoirs or essays, is easy enough to find, and while that’s all well and good in the right context, it’s not what you’re looking for.  Continue reading

A Great Gulf: September Update

Total profits from sales of A Great Gulf, Sept. 8 – 30: $160.93

In the twenty-three days between when I released the Jessica Christ short story A Great Gulf and today, two more hurricanes have devastated Americans, and two major earthquakes have shaken Mexico. Oh, plus monsoon season is out of control in South Asia and there are probably a few other natural disasters that have taken place, killing dozens of people, that I haven’t even heard about.

Sometimes helping can feel futile.

But, obviously, you help anyway. Continue reading

We are all pigs…

Today marks the anniversary of Jessica McCloud’s nativity, or the start of the A.G.C. calendar. What year are we on, you ask? Whichever one you feel allows you more freedom to party like it’s 0 A.G.C. Or 21 A.G.C.

Here are some recommendations for how you can celebrate the birth of God’s only begotten daughter (that are things you might want to do anyway):

  • Drink a Dos Equis on the couch while watching TV. When you’re done, drink another.
  • Watch a nature documentary narrated by David Attenborough
  • Pretend to smite a grackle
  • Explore your body in a private setting
  • Found a church
  • Treat yourself to a brinner (breakfast for dinner) of gluten-free pancakes and Jimmy Dean sausage
  • Gift a Jessica Christ book to a friend on Amazon
  • Get high and toss around a football
  • Make out with your significant other in a truck bed
  • Watch a Kenneth Branagh film
  • Leave a review for your favorite Jessica Christ book
  • Make condom balloon animals
  • Listen to Dave Matthews Band (to listen to the Spotify playlist I listened to while writing Nu Alpha Omega, click here)
  • Shout the words “Jessica Christ!” in a crowded room (I promise it’s fun)
  • Do something nice for someone else who probably doesn’t deserve it

The possibilities are endless. Mix and match, if you like. Personally, I’ll be doing most of these (not saying which ones, though).

But it isn’t really about sticking to the books. It’s about using the books as an excuse to indulge yourself in a way that doesn’t harm others. So let me know in the comments how you plan on celebrating.

Sumus omnes porcos,
-H. Claire

Friday Night Rites

I have some great news for you: it’s Friday night.

Or I guess you could be reading this on another night of the week, in which case, great news: Friday night is on the way.

If you’re from Texas (or a lot of other places, I suppose, but mostly Texas), you might still associate Friday night with the only sport God truly and oh-so-obviously blesses: football. I say that flippantly but lovingly because while high school football is blown alarmingly out of proportion in Texas, anyone who’s experienced it by being either on the field or in the stands knows that, yeah, it’s really freaking invigorating, life-affirming, and sexy as hell (the last bit being solely from the perspective of teen me). I’d almost do high school again just to better appreciate and indulge in high school football while the time was ripe.

Almost.

Do you remember being in tenth grade? (Holy shit, I sure as hell hope everyone reading this is at least in eleventh grade. I’m not looking to teach anyone new dirty words here.)

Tenth grade is such a disaster. I spent quite a bit of energy in tenth grade trying to be religious. Man, I tried. Went to youth group (those songs lodge themselves in your brain forever), tried dating people from youth group (I was too mean for it to work, apparently), and I think I accidentally got saved at some point in all that.

Spoiler alert! Organized religion never took. Then I developed stress-induced acid reflux in eleventh grade and things haven’t really slowed down since then. But the point is that tenth grade is a pivotal spot in the metamorphosis of angst. Freshmen don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground, as we so pleasantly say in Texas, and then you try to get your feet underneath you at the tender age of fifteen and sixteen and— OH MY GOD we let kids start operating motor vehicles at this age.

Sorry. Temporary freak out.

It’s literally impossible to create a believable fifteen-year-old character without writing a little angst and a lot of awkward make-out sessions. There’s just no getting around it. Being fifteen is not pretty, and I’m not even talking about the acne and apparent inability to wash in all necessary crevices. If you somehow managed to get through freshman year with any shred of innocence, you lose all that in tenth grade. The adult world starts to reveal its secrets, but you are still dumb as hell, neurologically speaking, and— I mean, really, why do we allow fifteen-year-olds behind the steering wheel of a truck?

My first week of teaching tenth-grade English, I had a group of three girls approach me and start asking me questions about sex and pregnancy. It was basically a series of “Can you get pregnant if…” questions, and I tried not to be horrified as some of them told me they’d—wait for it—never had sex ed outside of the this-is-what-a-period-is and this-is-what-a-boner-is videos and a few handouts. But all these girls were sexually active, and it was clear even then that I wouldn’t be the one to talk them out of it, no matter how many times I said, “But tenth-grade boys are scientifically proven to be the grossest.” So, not yet familiar with what level of talk about sex would get me fired, I opted to say, “Just assume you can always get pregnant without protection.” And a year later, one of them did. Wah-wah.

Yes, I just wah-wah-ed teen pregnancy. Not sure what else there is to do about it if we’re too squeamish to actually teach them how to prevent it (“But that’s the place of the parents, not the school!” cries those who doesn’t understand generational poverty and the cycle of teen pregnancy).

Anyway, this goes to say that tenth grade is like an estuary where the freshwater of childhood meets the saltwater of adulthood but doesn’t necessarily mix. So it seemed like a wonderful age to make Jessica McCloud when her half-brother insists she starts discovering her miracles. It’s just miracles. No big deal, right? Welcome to adulthood, Jessica! Hope you’ve stretched out your rotator cuffs because here’s the weight of the world! But we all know you don’t have to be God’s only child to feel that way when you’re fifteen going on sixteen.

Is Jessica’s life a little chaotic in The Beginning? Yeah. But that’s all childhood. And It Was Good is where reality starts to rear its ugly head, and you know what teens do best when shit starts to get real? Resist it. Ignore it. Rebel. Because life is setting down some new ground rules, and they’re not mega fun ones. I still resent life for it, to be honest.

I don’t want to give away too much, though. If you want to see how the tender age of fifteen treats Jessica McCloud, it’s all there in And It Was Good.

Click here to buy And It Was Good on Amazon.

What was tenth grade like for you? Did you get to enjoy the glow of the Friday night lights? Let’s reminisce together in the comments!

Just The Beginning

Just popping in to announce that my new book, The Beginning, is launching today!

So yeah, this is a sales pitch, but if you read my blog, I think you’ll genuinely like what I’m trying to sell you. And for a limited time it’s only $0.99, so even if you don’t like it, you’ve probably spent a dollar on worse things. Much worse things. Things you wouldn’t tell even your closest friends, things that would haunt the dreams of any decent person…

Anyway, click the cover to download it out on Amazon.com.

jessica-christ-book-1-cover

Check it out! And if you like it, book 2 is already available for pre-order and will be out at the end of the month. Yeah, this month. And then book 3 will be out next month. Yeah, that month. See why I haven’t been posting lately? I’ve been writing and publishing three fucking books. And there are even more in the series that still need to be written and edited and formatted and published.

Shit. What have I gotten myself into?

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the eBook

10271233_10102020280259257_2721362847011194008_oAs an indie author, there’s really nothing more magical than holding a hard copy of my book in my hand for the first time.

I imagine holding your child in your arms for the first time might feel similarly invigorating, but books don’t ruin your social life for eighteen years and then bankrupt you because they want to attend NYU (or literally any four-year university at this point) but didn’t bother applying for scholarships.

Anyway, books are awesome. There’s a tactile experience that you get from reading a book that is unique and gratifying. Nothing like being able to feel the gradual shift in weight from your right hand to your left over a period of hours as you burn through one page after another. And then there’s the smell. Mmm…

But here’s the thing. Continue reading

A Reader’s Guide to A Single’s Guide

Guess what! I have a new book coming out next month called A Single’s Guide to Texas Roadways. A lot is about to be happening with it in the next few weeks, including an announcement of the official release date and the cover reveal. If you’re signed up for my mailing list, The Collective, then you’ll be the first to know as each important tidbit becomes available—this includes any promotions, giveaways, etc. You should sign up, is what I’m saying, because this is going to be a big year for my personal brand (I’ve officially become the thing I hate).

Continue reading